Cases

Case namesort ascending Citation Summary
Brooks ex rel. Brooks v. Parshall 806 N.Y.S.2d 796 (N.Y.A.D. 3 Dept.,2006)

In this New York case, a then seven-year-old boy was attending a gathering at the home of the owners of a German Shepard dog. According to the plaintiff, the dog growled at him when he arrived and allegedly growled at another man at the party sometime later.   Defendant denied hearing the growl and t estimony showed that the boy continued to play with the dog throughout the party and into the next morning.   When the boy was leaving in the morning, he attempted to “hug” the dog from behind when the dog turned and bit the boy in the face.   In upholding defendant's motion for summary judgment, the court found that even if the dog had initially growled at the boy, that was not enough to establish that the dog had vicious propensities or that the owners had knowledge of the dog's vicious propensities.  

Brookover v. Roberts Enterprises, Inc. 156 P.3d 1157 (Ariz.App. Div. 1,2007)

Plaintiffs-appellants Brookovers appeal the trial court's decision granting summary judgment to defendant-appellee Roberts Enterprises, Inc.. The Brookovers claimed that Roberts was negligent in allowing its cow to enter the highway where it collided with the Brookovers' automobile. They contend that they presented evidence that defendants were aware of the risk of significant numbers of collisions between cattle and automobiles when cows were allowed to graze in the vicinity of a paved highway. Here, however, the court stated that the record indicates that the accident involving the Brookovers was the first reported cattle-automobile accident to occur on the Salome Highway through the Clem Allotment since Roberts began to lease the premises. Further, the court affirmed the trial court's ruling on the inapplicability of res ipsa loquitur based on the Brookovers' inability to establish that the accident is of a type that would not have occurred in the absence of negligence.

Bronk v. Ineichen 54 F.3d 425 (7th Cir. 1995)

Plaintiffs appealed decision of district court denying their claim that defendants violated the Federal Fair Housing Act for failing to allow a hearing dog in their rental unit as a reasonable accommodation for their hearing disability. The landlord denied the request, alleging that the dog was not a "hearing dog," and that the tenants did not have a legitimate need for the dog because the dog lacked professional training. The Court of Appeals held that if the dog was not necessary as a hearing dog then the plaintiffs were not entitled to the dog as a reasonable accommodation under the FHA. Also, the court held that a disabled person must meet two standards in arguing that an accommodation be made: (1) the accommodation must facilitate the disabled person's ability to function; and (2) the accommodation must survive a cost-benefit balancing that takes both parties' needs into account. The court vacated the decision of the lower court and ordered a new trial because of misleading jury instructions. 

Broden v. Marin Humane Society 70 Cal.App.4th 1212 (1999) Owner of animals that had been impounded from reptile store brought administrative mandamus proceeding, challenging conclusions by hearing officer at hearing that followed animal control service's seizure of animals from store.  On appeal, the court held that the warrantless entry of animal control officer into store was justified by exigent circumstances and that the owner lost all possessory interest in seized animals by failing to pay costs of seizure and impoundment within 14 days of seizure.
Brockett v. Abbe 206 A.2d 447 (Conn.Cir.A.D. 1964)

Defendant-farmer filed a counterclaim for damages for the erroneous determination by the veterinarian that certain cow was not pregnant (plaintiff veterinarian used a "punch test" - where a fist is struck against the abdomen of a cow to determine pregnancy rather than the industry-standard rectal examination). As a result, defendant-farmer sold the cow for $170 versus the $550 he could have received for a pregnant cow.  The Court found that it was erroneous for the circuit court to apply the doctrine of res ipsa loquitor, as diagnoses and scientific treatment are improper subjects for the doctrine. The mere proof that the diagnosis later on turned out to be erroneous is insufficient to support a judgment, the court stated.

Broadway, &c., Stage Company v. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals 15 Abbott 51 (1873)

 Part I is the initial civil case which was brought by the commercial powers of New York to stop Bergh from enforcing the criminal anti-cruelty law. The judge suggests the scope of the law and what Bergh must do to utilize the law. Part II is a second case brought several months latter when the corporate legal guns again try to get Bergh. This time for violating the judges prior opinion. Part III is the claim of one of the stage operators who Bergh personally asserted for overworking a horse. The claim against Bergh is for false arrest. The Judge holds against  the stage driver, freeing Bergh. Discussed in Favre, History of Cruelty

Britton v. Bruin Not Reported in P.3d, 2016 WL 1019213 (N.M. Ct. App., 2016) In this case, plaintiff appealed a decision by the district court denying her petition for a writ of mandamus. Plaintiff petitioned the court for a writ of mandamus to stop the City of Albuquerque's effort to control a large population of feral cats in its metropolitan area by “trapping, neutering them, and then returning them” to the location at which they were found. The district court denied the petition for a writ of mandamus because the court held that there was “a plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of the law.” Also, the court held that because the city’s program did not result in any unconstitutional action, the writ of mandamus was not appropriate. The court affirmed the district court’s ruling, looking only at whether or not there was “a plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of the law.” The court did not address the issue of whether or not the city’s population control effort was appropriate and should continue. The district court's order denying Petitioner's application for a writ of mandamus is affirmed.
Brisson v. These Guys New York Deli Corp. Not Reported in Atl. Rptr., 2023 WL 370990 (Conn. Super. Ct. Jan. 20, 2023) The Superior Court of Connecticut considers defendants' motion to strike plaintiffs' claims for emotional distress arising from the death of their pet dog. Plaintiffs argue that previous Connecticut case law (Myers v. Hartford, 84 Conn. App. 395) left open the question of whether courts could consider a claim for emotional distress damages due to the loss of a pet. The incident giving rise to the litigation occurred in 2021, where a driver for the defendants' company ran over plaintiffs' pet dog while making a delivery. The complaint states that one of the plaintiffs directly witnessed the driver speed down the driveway and kill the dog by dragging. The court began its analysis by first observing a dog is chattel and is unambiguously defined as personal property in the state. Myers left often the issue of recovery of damages when a "bystander" owner witnesses a "fatal injury." The court then examined the factors articulated by the Connecticut Supreme Court for recovery of emotional damages by a bystander. In doing so, the court here determined that the relationship between a pet and its owner does not meet the "closely related" element articulated by the Supreme Court. The court stated: "Absent appellate clarification that this factor includes other relationships, including the one at issue here between a pet owner and pet, this court cannot conclude that such a relationship is sufficiently like the close human relationships required under Clohessy." The court noted that it agreed with defendants that allowing plaintiffs' claim would amount to creating a new cause of action without legislative or appellate authority. Defendants' motion to strike was granted.
Brinton v. Codoni Not Reported in P.3d, 2009 WL 297006 (Wash.App. Div. 1,2009)

This unpublished Washington case stems from an attack on plaintiff's dog by a neighbor's dog. Plaintiff sued for damages, alleging negligence and nuisance. The trial court ruled on partial summary judgment that the plaintiff's damages were limited, as a matter of law, to the dog's fair market value. The plaintiff argued that she was entitled to damages based on the dog's intrinsic value (i.e., utility and service and not sentimental attachment) and her emotional distress. On appeal, this court held that since the plaintiff failed to carry her burden of showing that her dog had no fair market value, the trial court properly limited damages to that value. Further, because the plaintiff's nuisance claims were grounded in negligence, she was not entitled to damages beyond those awarded for her negligence claim.

Brinkley v. County of Flagler 769 So. 2d 468 (2000)

Appellee county sought to enjoin appellant from mistreating animals by filing a petition against her under Fla. Stat. ch. 828.073 (1997). The animals on appellant's property were removed pursuant to Fla. Stat. ch. 828.073, a statute giving law enforcement officers and duly appointed humane society agents the right to provide care to animals in distress. The entry onto appellant's property was justified under the emergency exception to the warrant requirement for searches. The hearing after seizure of appellants' animals was sufficient to satisfy appellant's due process rights.

Brent v. Kimball 60 Ill. 211 (1871)

This was an action of trespass, brought by appellant against appellee, for the alleged wrongful killing, by the latter, of appellant's dog. Plaintiff sought recovery for his dog that was shot and killed when it entered into defendant/neighbor’s backyard. The Court held that the plaintiff could recover at least nominal damages, regardless of the fact that the animal had no actual market value.

BREEDLOVE v. HARDY 110 S.E. 358 (Va. 1922)

This Virginia case concerned the shooting of plaintiff's companion animal where defendant alleged that the dog was worrying his livestock. The court reversed judgment for defendant, finding that defendant’s act of killing dog while not engaged in the act of “worrying the livestock,” was not authorized within the statute.

Brazil's ban on live cattle exports 5000325-94.2017.4.03.6135 This is the case in which a court in Brazil banned live cattle exports from all Brazilian ports based on animal welfare concerns. It is the result of a lawsuit filed by the NGO "Foro Nacional para la Protección y Defensa de los Animales," who requested that this type of animal transport to be banned. In 2018, the court granted a temporary injunction prohibiting live cattle exports. However, this injunction was invalidated by a superior tribunal. In her opinion, the judge stated that "animals are not things. They are sentient living beings—individuals who feel hunger, thirst, pain, cold, anguish, and fear. " In its holding, the judge compares the treatment of animals to the treatment suffered by humans during the slave trade, stating that non-human animals suffer the same treatment in the name of commercial development. Furthermore, the judge concluded that the necessary methods to guarantee the health and well-being of animals in this type of transport were not being adopted and urged for the harmonization between the interests of human animals (economic interest or interest in providing food for the population) with the ethics that must preside over their relations with non-human animals, encouraging the country to be at the forefront in abolishing inappropriate handling and eradicating all types of cruelty against animals. Even though this is a landmark decision, it is important to mention that this is not a final decision constituting legal precedent, and a higher court can invalidate it if it is appealed.
Brayshaw v Liosatos [2001] ACTSC 2

The appellant had informations laid against him alleging that he, as a person in charge of animals, neglected cattle 'without reasonable excuse' by failing to provide them with food. The appellant had been informed by a veterinarian that his treatment of the cattle was potentially a breach of the Animal Welfare Act 1992 (ACT) and that they were in poor condition. The evidence admitted did not rule out the possibility that the appellant's feeding of the cattle accorded with 'maintenance rations' and the convictions were overturned.

Brans v. Extrom 701 N.W.2d 163 (Mich.App.,2005)

When the plaintiff accidentally stepped on the dog, the dog bit him.  On the statutory claim, the jury found that the biting was with provocation even though from an unintentional act.  On the common law claim, the jury found that the incident did not result from the abnormally dangerous propensities of the dog. The court affirmed, finding the trial court correctly instructed the jury that an unintentional act could constitute provocation under the dog-bite statute.

Branks v. Kern (On Appeal) 359 S.E.2d (780 N.C.,1987)

On grant of appeal from Branks v. Kern , 348 S.E.2d 815 (N.C. 1986).  Cat owner brought negligence action against veterinarian and veterinary clinic after her hand was bitten while she held her own cat during a catheterization procedure. In reversing the Court of Appeals decision (348 S.E.2d 815 (N.C. App. 1986)), the Supreme Court held that defendants in the instant case have met their burden of showing that they are entitled to judgment as a matter of law where the evidence showed that the danger was obvious to plaintiff and defendants only owed plaintiff a duty to exercise ordinary care.

Branks v. Kern 348 S.E.2d 815 (N.C.App.,1986)

In this negligence action, a cat owner brought suit against veterinarian and veterinary clinic after she was bitten by her own cat while the cat was receiving treatment by the veterinarian. At issue, is whether the veterinarian owed a duty to the cat owner to exercise reasonable care in preventing the cat from harming the owner while the cat was being treated.  In review of the lower court’s grant of motion for summary judgment, the Court of Appeals held that substantial issues of material fact existed to preclude the grant of summary judgment. However, this was overturned on appeal at the Supreme Court. ( See , Branks v. Kern (On Appeal)   359 S.E.2d 780 (N.C.,1987)).

Brandon v. Village of Maywood 157 F. Supp.2d 917 (N.D. Ill. 2001)

Plaintiffs brought § 1983 action against village and police officers after botched drug bust in which bystander and dog were wounded.  The court held that the police officers were entitled to qualified immunity in shooting of dog and the village did not have policies on police conduct that warranted liability.  However, issues of fact precluded summary judgment on false imprisonment claim based on officers' assertion of immunity.

Bramblett v. Habersham Cty. 816 S.E.2d 446 (Ga. Ct. App., 2018) Defendants appeal from an order granting a petition for recoupment of costs filed by Habersham County pursuant to OCGA § 4-11-9.8, and a separate order directing the defendants to pay $69,282.85 into the court registry in connection with the boarding, treatment, and care of 29 dogs that the Brambletts refused to surrender after the County seized over 400 animals from their property. In April 2017, over 400 animals were removed from the Bramblett's property and they were charged with over 340 counts of cruelty to animals under Georgia law. There were 29 animals that were not surrendered and were running loose on the property. The current petition for recoupment of costs here refers to the care for those 29 animals, which were later impounded. The Brambletts appealed that order, arguing that the trial court erred in granting the County's petition without providing notice under OCGA § 4-11-9.4. The appellate court disagreed, finding that the procedure in OCGA § 4-11-9.8 applied because the notice provisions of OCGA §§ 4-11-9.4 and 4-11-9.5 only apply when the animal has been impounded “under” or “pursuant to this article” of the Georgia Animal Protection Act. Here, the animals were seized under as part of an investigation of violations of OCGA § 16-12-4 so the notice provisions did not apply. As to defendants contention that the court erred by not considering the "actual predicted costs" of caring for 29 dogs and instead relying on a "formulaic calculation," the court also found no error. The judgment was affirmed.
Brackett v. State 236 S.E.2d 689 (Ga.App. 1977)

In this Georgia case, appellants were convicted of the offense of cruelty to animals upon evidence that they were spectators at a cockfight. The Court of Appeals agreed with the appellants that the evidence was insufficient to support the conviction, and the judgment was reversed. The court found that the statute prohibiting cruelty to animals was meant to include fowls as animals and thus proscribed cruelty to a gamecock. However, the evidence that defendants were among the spectators at a cockfight was insufficient to sustain their convictions.

Bozzi v. City of Jersey City 258 A.3d 1048 (N.J., 2021) This New Jersey case considers whether owning a dog creates an objectively reasonable expectation of privacy such that the owner's personal information in the dog licensing record might be exempt from disclosure under the New Jersey Open Public Records Act (OPRA). Plaintiff Ernest Bozzi, a licensed home improvement contractor, submitted a request to the City of Jersey City (Jersey City) for dog license records to solicit customers for his invisible fencing business. He sought only the names and addresses of dog owners. Jersey City denied his request, objecting on the ground that such a disclosure would violate the dog owners’ reasonable expectation of privacy and that such a disclosure would place dog owners and non-dog owners a risk for theft (e.g., non-dog owners might be singled out for robbery or burglary). The lower court found no privacy interest in disclosing the names to comply with plaintiff's request and the Appellate Division affirmed that order. Upon Jersey City's petition for certification, the New Jersey Supreme Court affirmed that ruling, finding that owning a dog is "substantially a public endeavor in which people do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy." In arguments on appeal, Jersey City contended that disclosure for the purpose of commercial solicitation was protected by the privacy exception of OPRA. The Supreme Court noted that OPRA was designed to promote transparency in the operation of government. In looking at the state legislature's continuing process of amending OPRA, the Court found legislative history that declined against recommendations to withhold addresses or phone numbers in exceptions to the Act. Thus, the Court found that Jersey City has failed to present a colorable claim that disclosure of dog license records would encroach on dog owners' reasonable expectations of privacy. In looking at the OPRA privacy clauses, the Court concluded that owning a dog is "inherently, a public endeavor." In fact, dog owners continually expose themselves through social media, vet visits, public dog parks, bumper stickers, and the like, which militates against the activity being a private activity. While there are other aspects of dog licensing that may expose dog owners to a risk, like disclosure that a dog is a service animal or identifying the particular breed of the dog and exposing an owner to possible theft, the release of names and addresses does not rise to that concern. The Appellate Division's judgment was affirmed.
Boyer v. Seal 553 So. 2d 827 (La. 1989) In this case, plaintiff filed suit against her daughter under Civil Code article 2321 after her daughter’s cat accidentally tripped plaintiff causing injury to her wrist and back that required medication and hospitalization. Under Civil Code article 2321, plaintiff must show that the domestic animal created an “unreasonable risk of harm” and that any damage that occurred was a direct result of that harm. Additionally, the plaintiff does not need to show that the animal was acting aggressively or was inherently dangerous to collect damages under the code. The court held that plaintiff did not meet this burden of showing an “unreasonable risk of harm” because the cat “getting underfoot and accidentally tripping the plaintiff was not an unreasonable risk.”
Bowden v. Monroe County Commission 800 S.E.2d 252 (W. Va. May 18, 2017) The Plaintiff, as administratrix of the estate of her late husband, filed a complaint after he was attacked and killed by American Pit Bull Terriers while taking a walk near his home. The Plaintiff filed against the Defendants, Monroe County, the County Dog Warden Ms. Green, and other defendants, alleging, negligence in performing their statutory duties by allowing vicious dogs to remain at large, and wrongful death. The Plaintiff also sought punitive damages. The Defendants filed a motion to dismiss the complaint and asserted a defense based upon the public duty doctrine. The Circuit Court, Monroe County, granted summary judgment in favor of the Defendants. The Plaintiff appealed. The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia reversed the Circuit Court and remanded. The Supreme Court held that genuine issues of material fact existed for determining whether a special relationship existed between the county and the victim such as whether: (1) the dog warden assumed an affirmative duty to act on the victim's behalf, (2) the dog warden was aware that inaction could lead to harm, (3) the dog warden had direct contact with the victim's wife regarding vicious nature of dogs; and (4) the victim's wife justifiably relied on assurances from dog warden.
Boulahanis v. Prevo's Family Market, Inc. 230 Mich.App. 131 (1998) Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed that the Federal Meat Inspection Act prevents states from adding or modifying federal requirements on meat producers. Claims that purchased meat products are adulterated must be based on federal standards, not Michigan standards. The United States Department of Agriculture elected not to address E. coli contamination, thus Michigan may not impose liability on manufacturers for not addressing possible E. coli contamination.
Boss v. State 964 N.E.2d 931 (Ind.App.,2012) Defendant appealed her convictions of misdemeanor failure to restrain a dog and misdemeanor harboring a non-immunized dog after her dogs attacked a neighbor and a witness to the incident causing serious injury to both parties. Evidence supported her convictions for failure to restrain dogs because her fence had gaps through which the dogs could escape, and another dog was wearing only a loose collar. Evidence supported her convictions for harboring dogs that had not been immunized against rabies because she did not show proof that dogs had been immunized, which supported inferences that she was aware of the high probability that the dogs had not been immunized, and therefore, she knowingly harbored non-immunized dogs. 
Born Free USA v. Norton 278 F. Supp 2d 5 (D.D.C. 2003)

The zoo sought to import wild elephants from a foreign country, but advocates contended that the officials did not follow CITES properly for the import. The court held that the advocates failed to show a likelihood of success to warrant preliminary injunctive relief, since no overall detriment to the species was shown.

Bormaster v. Henderson 624 S.W.2d 655 (Tx. 1981)

This appeal arises out of a suit brought under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act (DTPA) and for breach of expressed and implied warranties after plaintiff purchased an allegedly defective umbrella cockatoo from a pet shop. Prior to purchase, appellee-seller stated the cockatoo was healthy and gave the appellant an "Official Health Certificate for Animals and Fowl" with a 72-hour expressed warranty on the health of the cockatoo. Two weeks later the cockatoo began showing signs of poor health so appellant took it to a veterinarian (it later died). This court concluded the trial court had sufficient rebuttal evidence upon which to hold appellant failed to prove the cockatoo's death by a preponderance of the evidence. Further, this court agreed with the trial court's finding that appellant failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the appellees committed any false, misleading or deceptive acts under the DTPA, or breached any expressed or implied warranties.

Bormann v. Board of Supervisors In and For Kossuth County 584 N.W.2d 309 (Iowa 1998)

The court held that a statutory immunity provision designed to protect farming operations from nuisance litigation constituted a taking under the Fifth Amendment because the right to maintain an action for nuisance at common law was considered an easement. 

Borenstein v. Animal Foundation Not Reported in Fed. Supp., 2021 WL 3472190 (D.Nev., 2021) Plaintiff brought this lawsuit against several defendants for adopting his service animal out to new owners while he was hospitalized. The court dismissed several claims, including those against the hospital defendants, and determined that the Clark County Animal Ordinance governed the hold of the dog. Plaintiff argues that the court misapplied the law, overlooked facts, and that there was new evidence. The court claimed that the animal ordinance applied because the dog was impounded under the vehicle confinement provision, as the dog was found while she was contained in plaintiff's car. Plaintiff argues that the dog was left in the car with the air conditioning on, that the dog had not been left in the car unattended for more than 15-17 minutes, and that hospital staff were supervising the car while the dog was in it. Therefore, the dog was not in danger enough to trigger the vehicle containment provision of the animal ordinance. However, the court found that there was no error in applying the animal ordinance, since plaintiff would be checking into the hospital for an unforeseen amount of time.
Booth v. State of Arizona 83 P.3d 61 (Ariz. 2004)

Motorist struck an elk lying on the side of the interstate highway and sued the state for negligence.  The Court held that the state could be held liable for negligence and that the jury finding that the state breached its duty to keep the highway safe was supported by the evidence.

Boosman v. Moudy 488 S.W.2d 917 (Mo.App. 1972)
In this Missouri case, an action was brought on behalf of a child who was bitten by a dog (a large dog of the malemute breed). After the lower court entered judgment against the dog owner, the owner appealed. The Court of Appeals held that the plaintiff's evidence demonstrated that the dog had become ill-natured and had acquired the persistent menacing habit of growling, bristling and snapping at people. Such behavior was repeatedly brought to the attention of the owner's wife prior to time dog bit child. This evidence, together with owner's evidence that his daughter had encouraged the dog to play tug-of-war with her clothing, supported the verdict in favor of the plaintiff that the injury to child resulted from the propensity of the dog to do bodily harm, either in anger or from playfulness.
Bonner v. Martino 927 So.2d 564 (La.App. 5 Cir., 2006)

Plaintiff-housekeeper brought an action against her employers and their liability insurance providers after the employers' dog jumped up on a door that subsequently injured the plaintiff.  In affirming the trial court's granting of defendants' motion for summary judgment, the appellate court held that housekeeper did not demonstrate that dog presented an unreasonable risk of harm. 

Bone v. Vill. Club, Inc. 223 F.Supp. 3d 1203 (M.D. Fla. 2016) This case dealt with a woman's request to have her emotional-support dog live with her before purchasing land in a mobile home community, known as Brookhaven. Prior to purchasing her lot, the plaintiff allegedly received permission from the president of Brookhaven's board of directors to keep her dog, even though the plaintiff was purchasing a lot in the "no pet" section of Brookhaven. The plaintiff provided the president of the board with the documentation requested, and the president told plaintiff she had been approved by the board to have her dog. Approximately one year after plaintiff purchased her lot, Brookhaven's attorney sent a letter requesting that plaintiff remove her dog, citing Brookhaven's policies disallowing her dog. After several letters sent back and forth between plaintiff's attorney and Brookhaven's attorney concerning requirements of the Fair Housing Act and the party's respective actions, both parties cross-moved for summary judgement. The court held that 1) genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether tenant had an actual disability; 2) landlord was not prejudiced by tenant's untimely disclosure of expert report; 3) genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether landlord constructively denied tenant an accommodation; and 4) genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether landlord retaliated against tenant for requesting a disability accommodation. As a result, all motions for summary judgement were denied.
Boling v. Parrett 536 P.2d 1272 (Or. 1975)

This is an appeal from an action claiming conversion when police officers took animals into protective custody.  Where police officers acted in good faith and upon probable cause when a citation was issued to an animal owner for cruelty to animals by neglect, then took the animals into protective custody and transported them to an animal shelter, there was no conversion.

Bohan v. Ritzo 679 A.2d 597 (N.H.,1996)

In this New Hampshire case, a bicyclist brought suit against a dog owner under the state's strict liability statute for injuries he sustained when he fell from his bike after the owners' dog ran toward him. The jury awarded him $190,000 at trial. On appeal, this court found that the bicyclist's allegations were sufficient to sustain the jury's finding even though there was no evidence that the dog actually bit the plaintiff or made any physical contact. The Court held that there is nothing in the plain language of RSA 466:19 that would limit the statute's application actual bites or other direct physical contact. Instead, the statute makes dog owners strictly liable to “[a]ny person to whom ... damage may be occasioned by a dog not owned or kept by him.” RSA 466:19.

 
Bogart v. Chapell 396 F.3d 548 (4th Cir., 2005)

A woman was housing hundreds of animals in her residential home, the animals were seized and more than two hundred of them were euthanized.  The woman brought a section 1983 claim against the county sheriff's department and human society.  The trial court granted defendants summary judgment and the Court of Appeals affirmed holding no viable due process claim existed arising from the euthanization. 

Bloomfield Estates Improvement Ass'n, Inc. v. City of Birmingham 737 N.W.2d 670 (2007)

In this Michigan case, a property association brought an action against the city of Birmingham to enforce a deed restriction. The association alleged that the city's plan to build a dog park violated the residential use restriction in the deed. The Circuit Court of Oakland County granted the city's motion for summary disposition; the Court of Appeals reversed. The Supreme Court held that the city's use of the lot as a “dog park" (a fenced area where dogs could roam unleashed with their owners) did indeed violate the deed restriction limiting use of land to “strictly residential purposes only.” Further, despite the association's failure to contest the previous use of the land as a vacant park, the association could contest the dog park violation because the former use was deemed a "less serious" violation.

Blankenship v. Commonwealth 838 S.E.2d 568 (2020) Brandon Scott Blankenship showed up at Wally Andrews’ home although Blankenship had previously been ordered not to come onto Andrews’ property. Blankenship stood outside on Andrews’ property and continued to curse at Andrews and threaten to kill him. Andrews called law enforcement and when they arrived, Blankenship continued his cursing and yelling at the officers. Every time the officers attempted to arrest Blankenship he would ball up his fists and take a fighting stance towards the officers. At some point the officers released a police K-9 named Titan after Blankenship took off running. Blankenship kicked and punched Titan until he backed off. Titan ended up with a digestive injury in which he would not eat and seemed lethargic. Blankenship was indicted for three counts of assault and battery on a law enforcement officer, one count of assault on a law enforcement animal, one count of assault and battery, one count of obstruction of justice, and one count of animal cruelty. The Court struck one count of assault and battery on a law enforcement officer, the count of assault on a law enforcement animal, and the count of obstruction to justice. Blankenship was convicted of the remaining four counts and he appealed assigning error to the sufficiency of the evidence used to convict him. The Court found that Blankenship’s overt acts demonstrated that he intended to place the law enforcement officers in fear of bodily harm which in turn caused the officers to actually and reasonably fear bodily harm. The totality of the circumstances supported Blankenship’s conviction of assault and battery on both the law enforcement officers and Andrews. As for the animal cruelty conviction, the Court found that there was sufficient evidence from which the circuit court could find that Blankenship voluntarily acted with a consciousness that inhumane injury or pain would result from punching and kicking Titan. Blankenship had no right to resist the lawful arrest and his actions against Titan were not necessary, therefore, there was sufficient evidence to support Blankenship’s conviction for animal cruelty. The Court ultimately affirmed and remanded the case.
Blake v. County of Wyoming 46 N.Y.S.3d 753 (N.Y. App. Div. 2017)

The City of Wyoming filed an appeal after the court dismissed the City’s motion for summary judgment. The initial law suit was filed by Cassandra Blake after she sustained injuries from a dog bite at the Wyoming County Animal Shelter. Blake was working at the shelter as a volunteer dog walker when the incident occurred. Blake filed suit against the City of Wyoming on the basis of strict liability. The Court of Appeals reversed the lower court’s decision to deny the City’s motion for summary judgment on the basis that the City did not have actual or constructive knowledge that the dog had vicious propensities. The Court of Appeals rejected Blake’s argument that the City did have knowledge because the shelter was aware that the dog had previously knocked over a four year old child. The Court of Appeals found that this behavior was not notice to the shelter that the dog had any propensity to bite. As a result, the Court of Appeals reversed the lower court’s decision and granted the City’s motion for summary judgment.

Black v. Coughlin 76 F.3d 72 (2nd Cir. 1996)

Prisoner brought action under § 1983 against commissioner of state department of correctional services to recover damages for punishment imposed as a result of improperly conducted disciplinary hearing.

Black Hawk County v. Jacobsen (Unpublished) 2002 WL 1429365 (Iowa App. 2002) (Not Reported in N.W. 2d)

In this case, Donna Jacobsen appealed a district court order finding she had neglected fifty-six dogs in the course of her operation of a federal and state licensed kennel in Jesup.  On appeal, Jacobsen contended that the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction because federal law (the Animal Welfare Act) preempts state regulations of federally licensed kennels.  The court disagreed, finding the Act expressly contemplates state and local regulation of animals.  Further, a plain reading of the Animal Welfare Act shows that Congress demonstrated no express or implied intent to preempt state or local government from regulating in this area.

Bjugan v. State Farm Fire and Cas. Co. 969 F.Supp.2d 1283 (D. Ore. 2013)

After a house was damaged by a tenant’s 95 cats and 2 dogs, a landlord sought to recover expenses through State Farm Insurance. State Farm, however, denied the landlord coverage due to a provision in the insurance policy that excluded damages caused by domestic animals. In a diversity action brought by the landlord, the district court found the damage caused by the tenant’s cats fell within State Farm’s policy exclusion and therefore granted State Farm’s motion for summary judgment.

Birmingham Humane Society v. Dickson 661 So.2d 759 (Ala.,1994)

The owner of a lost dog found the dog in an animal shelter and asked for its return. The shelter gave it back but sterilized it first despite the owner's wishes that it not be sterilized. The court held the shelter owed a duty to give the dog back without sterilizing it and affirmed a finding of negligence.

Big Cats of Serenity Springs, Inc. v. Vilsack --- F.Supp.3d ----, 2015 WL 1432069 (D. Colo. 2015) In an amended complaint, Plaintiffs asserted four claims against Defendants relating to a May 7, 2013 United States Department of Agriculture inspection of Big Cats of Serenity Springs, Inc. The claims included a Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures; a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim against the Inspector Defendants “because they acted under color of state law when they induced the deputies to cut the chains and enter the premises;” a declaratory judgment “declaring that [Defendant] Thompson inappropriately overrode the medical advice of [Plaintiff] Big Cats' veterinarians and declaring that, in the future, the USDA cannot force [Plaintiff] Sculac to choose between following the medical advice of his veterinarians and the mandates of a USDA inspector;” and a declaratory judgment that the USDA must follow its own regulations and that it cannot conduct a warrantless search of the Big Cats facility outside of ‘normal business hours' solely because an inspector ‘want [s] to’ or because an inspector subjectively ‘believe[s][it] necessary to determine the welfare status of the animals....' ” In addition to declaratory relief, Plaintiffs also sought compensatory and punitive damages, costs, expenses, and prejudgment interest. Defendants filed a motion to dismiss. US Magistrate Judge issued a recommendation that, to the extent the Motion argued that the declaratory judgment claims should be dismissed because Plaintiffs lack standing, the Motion be granted in part and denied in part and that the declaratory judgment claims asserted by Plaintiffs Nick Sculac, Julie Walker, and Jules Investment, Inc. be dismissed without prejudice. In all other aspects, the Magistrate recommended that the Motion be denied. A District Court judge approved and adopted these recommendations and denied defendant’s objections to the recommendations.
Big Cats of Serenity Springs, Inc. v. Rhodes 842 F.3d 1280 (D.C. Cir. 2016)

Plaintiff, Big Cats of Serenity Springs is a Colorado-based non-profit that provides housing, food, and veterinary care for exotic animals. The facility is regulated by the Defendant, United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Three APHIS inspectors accompanied by sheriff's deputies broke into the Big Cats facility to perform an unannounced inspection of two tiger cubs. But at the time the inspectors entered the facility, the cubs were at a veterinarian's office receiving treatment. Big Cats sued the APHIS inspectors for the unauthorized entry and asserted that the entry was an illegal search under the Fourth Amendment and sought declaratory judgment and compensatory and punitive damages. The United States District Court for the District of Colorado,  granted APHIS's motion to dismiss in part and denied in part. APHIS appealed. The Court of Appeals, held that: (1) Big Cats could assert a Bivens claim; (2) Big Cats adequately alleged that the inspectors violated their Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures; and (3) Big Cats had clearly-established the constitutional right to be free of unreasonable searches or seizures, thus weighing against the inspectors' claim of qualified immunity; but (4) the inspectors did not act under the color of state law, as required for § 1983 liability. The Court of Appeals reasoned that Big Cats' complaint stated a claim for relief under Bivens because No APHIS inspector would reasonably have believed unauthorized forcible entry of the Big Cats facility was permissible. Also, the Court reasoned that when the agents cut the locks to conduct a non-emergency inspection without a warrant, the federal officials did not act under color of state law, and the district court erred in denying the government's motion to dismiss the § 1983 claim. Therefore, the Court of Appeals affirmed the district court's order denying the government's motion to dismiss the Bivens claim and reversed the trial court's order denying the government's motion to dismiss the § 1983 claim.

Bhogaita v. Altamonte Heights Condominium Assn. 765 F.3d 1277 (11th Cir., 2014) Appellee Ajit Bhogaita, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), filed suit against Appellant Altamonte Heights Condominium Association, Inc. ("Association") for violating the disability provisions of the Federal and Florida Fair Housing Acts, 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(b) (“FHA”) and the Florida Fair Housing Act, when it enforced its pet weight policy and demanded Bhogaita remove his emotional support dog from his condominium. The jury awarded Bhogaita $5,000 in damages, and the district court awarded Bhogaita more than $100,000 in attorneys' fees. This court affirmed that decision finding that there was evidence that the Association constructively denied appellee's requested accommodation. In fact, the court opined, "Neither Bhogaita's silence in the face of requests for information the Association already had nor his failure to provide information irrelevant to the Association's determination can support an inference that the Association's delay reflected an attempt at meaningful review."
Bess v. Bracken County Fiscal Court 210 S.W.3d 177 (Ky.App.,2006)

The primary issue in this Kentucky case is whether a Bracken County ordinance which bans the possession of pit bull terriers is inconsistent with the state law that addresses dangerous dogs. The lower court denied the plaintiff's motion and dismissed the complaint. On appeal, the Court of Appeals held that the ban of breed was a legitimate exercise of police power and did not deny dog owners procedural due process. Further, the ordinance did not infringe on constitutional right to travel because traveling with a pet is not a fundamental right and the ordinance does not treat residents and non-residents differently.

Berry v. Frazier 307 Cal. Rptr. 3d 778 (2023), as modified on denial of reh'g (May 15, 2023), review denied (Aug. 9, 2023) Ryan Berry sued veterinarian Jeffery R. Frazier for damages related to the euthanasia of her cat. Berry alleged that Frazier performed the euthanasia without her informed consent, using an unnecessary and unjustified intracardiac injection that caused a painful death for her cat and emotional distress for her. In 2019, plaintiff hired "Vetted," a service that provides home euthanasia for pets, to put down their dying cat. Vetted sent Dr. Frazier, who failed to sedate the cat with a catheter and suggested using an intracardiac injection (injecting fluid directly into the heart), claiming it was a quick and painless method. The owners agreed, but later learned that this method is generally considered inhumane and illegal in some circumstances. Plaintiff's first amended complaint (FAC) raised the following: (1) fraud/deceit/intentional misrepresentation (third cause of action); (2) breach of fiduciary duty (fourth cause of action); (3) conversion/trespass to chattels (fifth cause of action); (4) intentional infliction of emotional distress (sixth cause of action); and (5) violation of section 3340 (eighth cause of action). The prayer for relief for each cause of action sought nominal damages of $1, restitution of $600 (cost of euthanasia), and punitive damages. The trial court granted Frazier's demurrer and dismissed the causes of action for fraud, conversion, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and violation of Civil Code section 3340. Berry voluntarily dismissed the remaining cause of action, resulting in a final judgment. On the instant appeal, the appellate court looked at the fraud claim finding that the defendant intentionally misled the plaintiff about the method of euthanasia and manipulated her into giving consent for the intracardiac injection, which turned out to be an inhumane and painful procedure. The plaintiff provided specific allegations of the defendant's representations, including statements about the procedure being quick and painless. The court found that the plaintiff's allegations were sufficient to support a claim of fraud, and the defendant's argument that the plaintiff failed to allege legally cognizable damages was rejected. With respect to the conversion/trespass to chattels claim, the plaintiff alleges that the defendant, a veterinarian, obtained her consent for euthanizing her cat through fraudulent means. The plaintiff claims that the defendant intentionally misled her about the procedure, resulting in the cat experiencing extreme pain. As to plaintiffs' claims of conversion/trespass to chattels and IIED, the court found that the allegations support these claims, as the defendant's conduct violated the plaintiff's property rights and caused severe emotional distress. The court disagreed with the trial court's dismissal of these claims and concludes that the demurrer should have been overruled. Finally, on the violation of Section 3340 (the exemplary damages statute), the court agreed with the trial court's ruling that no separate cause of action can be alleged for a violation of Section 3340. The court notes that while the statute provides for exemplary damages, it does not define "wrongful injuries" or indicate an intent to create a separate cause of action. While there is no independent cause of action under Section 3340, it can serve as a basis for seeking exemplary damages in connection with other causes of action so the plaintiff should have pleaded the request for Section 3340, providing sufficient facts to support the allegation of willful and inhumane conduct. The court remanded the case to allow the plaintiff to file a second amended complaint to include the request for Section 3340 exemplary damages in connection with other causes of action. Notably, the court rejected the defendant's argument that Section 3340 does not apply to veterinarians or that the plaintiff's claim only involves professional negligence. Section 3340 is broadly worded and can apply to any defendant, including veterinarians, for willful or grossly negligent conduct causing wrongful injuries to animals. The court found no basis to exclude veterinarians from the statute's coverage and notes that the defendant's argument is unsupported by relevant case law. The court has dismissed the appeals from the October 7, 2021 demurrer order, the October 7, 2021 motion to strike order, and the October 26, 2021 order dismissing the fourth cause of action without prejudice. The court has also reversed the judgment of dismissal and sent the case back to the trial court for further proceedings. The trial court was directed to vacate the dismissal of the first amended complaint and modify the demurrer order. The plaintiff is allowed to file a second amended complaint, and the defendant is allowed to file a demurrer and motion to strike to any new amended pleading.
Berres v. Anderson 561 N.W.2d 919 (Minn. Ct. App. 1997) This is an action for veterinary malpractice brought by the purchasers of cattle that tested positive for Johne's disease. The veterinarian diagnosed the disease in the seller's herd and treated the buyer's herd for the disease. The trial court granted summary judgment for the veterinarian on the grounds that the statute of limitations had expired for the malpractice claim. On appeal, the court reversed the district court's granting of summary judgment, as it determined that the record indicated a genuine issue for trial as to the causation of the spread of the disease among the herd of cattle and whether adequate hygiene would have reduced the spread of the disease.
Bermudez v Hanan Slip Copy, 44 Misc.3d 1207(A), 2013 WL 5496124 (Table) (N.Y.City Civ.Ct.),

This unpublished small claims court opinion concerns a dog bite. Claimant sought to recover monetary damages for medical bills and related expenses she incurred as a result of personal injuries suffered when Defendant's dog named "Chino" bit her on the face. At issue is whether Chino had vicious propensities and whether Defendant was aware of or had knowledge of those vicious propensities. The court found that Plaintiff did not raise an issue of fact as to the dog's vicious propensities. The court found compelling evidence that Chino was certified by the Good Dog Foundation to visit healthcare facilities as a therapy dog. As a result, the court dismissed the motion.

Pages